Reality has bitten. The news that Gleneagles has closed its doors until February has created shockwaves; an iconic part of Scotland’s tourism offering, a hospitality landmark of luxury, history, heritage and pride, closed for three months. A stark example of the scale of which the pandemic is decimating our sector. No business is safe.

From conversations I have with business owners all over Scotland, it is worryingly apparent that the wave of closure is accelerating. Gleneagles is one of the high-profile examples; there are many businesses that we may or may not be familiar with which have already closed their doors or plan to do so before the month is out.

The costs of remaining open and providing a total experience in line with customer expectations, with current limitations and uncertainty are simply too high. Furlough is of course a lifeline in supporting staff, many of whom would currently be without a job had this not been extended, but grant support is what is needed urgently to maintain solvency for most businesses in our sector.

My chairman, Stephen Leckie and I had a call with the First Minister last week to discuss the issues and challenges we face. There is no doubt that we’re at a critical point in fighting the virus; we are assured that without the restrictions, virus numbers would be out of control and the impact and long term effect on our sector and economy would be far more devastating than it is currently. We are reassured that the severity of the impact of the pandemic and indeed government policy on our industry is understood and appreciated at the highest level.

We continue to press for more financial support to be delivered into what is undoubtedly the hardest hit sector in the economy. Nicola Sturgeon told us: “I fully understand what you’re asking for and we are looking at how we supplement grant support for certain sectors. I can tell you this is under very active and speedy consideration.” Reassurance that the needs of the sector and the scale of damage and devastation to businesses, local economies, communities and livelihoods is understood and we eagerly await further detail on that.

In the meantime, we must work with what we’ve got, make the best of what we have in the conditions that we have come to accept, which as we know after eight months of living in this pandemic, can change all too quickly.

For many businesses, that may mean closing the doors in the short term to enable a chance of recovery for the longer term.Trading through the third of ‘three winters’ is unviable.

For the majority of Scotland’s people, that means staying within our local areas and making the most of what’s around us; visiting the cafes and restaurants whose owners and staff get up every day and work hard to create an experience to be enjoyed safely by people like us; visiting the points of interest that other people come to visit, places that we often take so much for granted, just because they’re there and we’ll ‘visit them sometime’ and buying from small independents if we can. Every penny you have to spend can make a difference right now between someone’s business being part of your high street and community to being gone for good.

It is hard to summon optimism and enthusiasm when things feel so bleak at the moment (our national football team has of course gone some way to doing that on a scale we’ve been unfamiliar with for too long!) but we really can take some comfort and a bit of joy by embracing everything we have on our doorstep and looking after the people and businesses around us.That, is our best chance for recovery in every sense.

Marc Crothall is the chief executive of the Scottish Tourism Alliance